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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reyes and Murphy updates

Jon Heyman is saying Jose Reyes will miss opening day and will instead join the Mets for the 5th game versus the Nationals. We will see if this is true or not.

Metsblog is reporting Daniel Murphy is in a leg immobilizer and WFAN is saying he's out 2-6 weeks with a Grade 1 knee sprain (didn't describe which ligament), and that he will start the year on the DL.

Mets need to start playing, AND WINNING, real games very soon.

Baseball Bloggers Alliance- formation of the Goose Gossage Award

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance is pleased to announce the formation of the Goose Gossage Award.

Starting with the 2010 Major League Baseball season, the Goose Gossage Award will be a postseason award given to the top relief pitcher in each league. “It’s hard to picture anyone more worthy of having his name on an award such as this,” said BBA founder Daniel Shoptaw. “Mr. Gossage embodies what so many people think of as the classic relief pitcher, and the BBA is honored that he has agreed to lend his name to this award.”

Richard “Goose” Gossage was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008 after a 22-year major league career in which he had 310 career saves and recorded a 3.01 ERA in 1,002 games played. He was a nine-time All-Star, finished among the top vote-getters for the Cy Young Award in five different seasons, and was named the 1978 Rolaids Relief Man of the Year.

The Goose Gossage Award will be voted on by the membership of the BBA. Team chapters will have two votes each for either the American or National League ballot. The General Baseball chapter will vote in a manner determined by its members.

“At the end of the 2009 season, we voted on awards mirroring those of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, though we did not have a separate award for relievers,” stated Shoptaw. “Due to the popularity of that voting, we decided that it was important to differentiate ourselves from other voting organizations. With the addition of the Goose Gossage Award we have taken the first step in that direction.“

The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was formed in 2009 and numbers 142 blogs across baseball, representing 29 of the 30 major league teams and including numerous general baseball blogs. Award balloting for the BBA is a transparent process, as no ballot is counted unless it is posted on the voter’s blog.

The official website of the BBA is located at http://www.baseballbloggersalliance.com/. The BBA can be found on Twitter by the handle @baseballblogs and the hashmark #bbba. Members of the BBA may also be heard at Blog Talk Radio each Tuesday night with their call-in show, BBA Baseball Talk.

My Role: Being a member of the BBA, I will be voting and posting my votes for this post-season award. There also will be a press release posted later in the week with my pre-season division winners, as well as predictions for the other post-season awards.

Pat Misch and Daniel Murphy

  • Pat Misch cleared waivers and will be sent down to Buffalo, allowing the Mets to maintain some pitching depth in Buffalo. As I noted in his scouting report (Pat Misch), he tries to be "Tom Glavine Lite"
    • For the much needed insurance he provides considering the state of the Mets rotation, I'm glad no one else wanted him. He won't be a key cog in the rotation/future, but could provide a spot start or two.
  • In other news, Daniel Murphy was seen limping out of the athletic trainer's room, and is day to day with a knee sprain.
    • Aren't we all day to day?
    • I'm sure we will hear of an ensuing MRI if they are truly concerned.
    • I watched the play live and first thought it was his ankle. I won't speculate on what I think the injury is until they release the information and then I will discuss if he will miss any extended period of time.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 Man Roster- Manny Acosta

Manny Acosta - #TBA

28 years old (29 in May)
4th major league season
6'4" 170 pounds (!!)
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Throws a mid-90s fastball (can run it up to 98 mph), nice splitter and a "plus" slider. Strikes out a lot of hitters (7.7 k/9 last year). Was originally signed as a 16-year old out of Panama by the Yankees.

The Bad: Oliver Perez-esqe inconsistency that drives managers and teams mad. Walks too many guys (4.66 W/9 for his career) and has seen his fly ball rate climb the last three years. Lefties have hit .277 off him in his career. 

Role: Probably ticketed for Buffalo and AAA to start the year, but will be one of the first guys called up if/when the bullpen struggles. Maybe someone in the Mets organization can harness his stuff and help him find consistency, but I have little faith in the pitching coaches right now. Pure stuff-wise there is no reason he can't be a big part in a major league bullpen, but needs to decrease the walks.

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2005

2005: Mets vs Astros
Grad year at Quinnipiac year 1. No baseball practice so I didn't need to skip work. Don’t remember which classes I skipped. Went with Amy and it was cold (both opening days I went with Amy). My brother-in-law Mike got shot in the arm. Not a good day. But the Mets won 8-4.

Mets Starting Line-up:
J Reyes SS
K Matsui 2B
C Beltran CF
M Piazza C
C Floyd LF
D Wright 3B
D Mientkiewicz 1B
V Diaz C
T Glavine P

Astros Starting Line-up:
A Everett SS
C Biggio 2B
J Bagwell 1B (pride of University of Hartford)
M Ensberg 3B (he has a great blog now Morgan Ensberg's Blog)
J Lane RF
C Burke LF
B Ausmus C
W Taveras CF
A Pettitte P

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

News and Notes from Tuesday

  • Mets claimed former Braves reliever Manny Acosta, who was added to the 40-man roster and is going to be put in AAA. I will have a scouting report on Acosta tonight/tomorrow.
  • Mets waived Pat Misch; no one has claimed him yet, and they are hoping they can option him to Buffalo.
  • Mariners waived "my favorite" Ryan Garko. Let's see if the Mets pick him up to hit lefties as part of a platoon, but I doubt it. 
In regards to today's Mets games.
  • Jose Reyes played in a minor league game, and showed no ill effects running the bases and gave a thumbs up to the camera after he finished his workout. 
    • No one is talking whether he will play on Opening Day or not; but if it's not Opening Day, he should be playing in the majors the 1st week of the season in my opinion.
  • Johan Santana didn't have a great outing in the same minor league game
    • We can't get worked up over spring training stats with Johan; he has earned our trust.
    • I can't wait to watch him work on Monday at Citi Field when it really matters
  • Daniel Murphy appeared to injure his ankle (UPDATE: Knee) on a rundown, and left the game.
    • He walked off the field under his own power, and it doesn't look like a long-term issue
    • He had a couple more hits today, and has really found his stroke as of late. 
  • Alex Cora got hit in the hip with a pitch and left the game
    • Should just be a bruise and no impact on his availability for Opening Day
  • Jason Bay looked poor on a number of outfield chances today
    • He hit a bomb to straight away CF to try to off-set those miscues
  • Sean Green threw 2 good innings, the best he's looked all spring
    • He is trying to make one last ditch effort to make the team
  • Kelvim Escobar has started playing catch again, and it was pain-free
    • He is still at least 6 weeks away without set-backs from contributing to the bullpen

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2004

2004: Mets vs Braves
Senior Year of Quinnipiac. Had to take an anatomy final at 8 AM and leave right after for the game. Mike Hampton got rocked and booed unmercifully. Mets won 10-6.

Mets Starting Line-up:
K Matsui SS
R Gutierrez 2B (I don't remember him at all)
S Spencer RF
T Zeile 1B
M Cameron CF
J Phillips C
T Wigginton 3B
S Traschel P

Braves Starting Line-up:
D Wise LF
M DeRosa 3B
M Giles 2B
J Drew RF
A Jones CF
J Franco 1B
J Estrada C
J Garcia SS
M Hampton P

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mets Opening Day Record

According to Baseball Almanac, the Mets have the best winning % in the National League in home openers (60.4%).

For some other fun facts, click it out here:  Baseball Almanac

During their Opening Day history, the New York Mets scored the most runs (11) on April 9, 2007 versus the Philadelphia Phillies. The most runs scored against them during an Opening Day game was 15 and it was played on March 31, 2003 versus the Chicago Cubs.
Glad I was able to be there for both of those great milestones. 

Chris Coste claimed by Washington

Good riddance Chris.

Never felt like he was a Met, although when I did talk to him as he jogged by me during spring training and I said to him "you better beat Philly this year." And he responded, "that sounds good right now."

Well hopefully he can now beat Philly with the Nats.

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2003


2003: Mets vs Cubs
Junior Year of Quinnipiac. Skipped a test w/Dr. Straub and told him I couldn’t take it because I had to go to Mets opening day. He laughed and understood. Went with Amy. IT WAS FREEZING. Listed as 39 degrees but 20 mph winds. The only thing that kept us warm was we were able to have beer legally. We were hoping to watch Sammy Sosa hit his 500th HR, which didn’t happen, but it seemed like everyone else hit one because the final score was 15-2.

Mets Starting Line-up:
R Cedeno CF
R Alomar 2B
C Floyd LF
M Piazza C
M Vaughn 1B
T Wigginton 3B
J Burnitz RF (one of the 1st true 3-outcome players)
R Sanchez SS
T Glavine P (was awful in this game. 3 2/3 innings, 5 earned runs, 8 hits, 4 walks)

Cubs Starting Line-up:
M Grudzielanek SS
A Gonzalez SS
S Sosa RF
M Alou LF
H Choi 1B
M Bellhorn 3B
C Patterson CF (7 rbis; maybe that's why Dusty Baker still loves him)
D Miller C
K Wood P (wasn't special, 5+ innings, 5 ks)

Parnell and S Green both going to AAA?

That's what Adam Rubin is reporting, as well as that Chris Coste was put on waivers, so he's free to be claimed by anyone and if no one does, he will go down to AAA.

Rubin speculates that Takahashi and Nelson Figueroa will both make the team, leaving one spot for either Kiko Calero or J Mejia.

(Hat tip Metsblog)

My Take: Mets are being smart and keeping all their resources as opposed to prior years. Takahashi, Calero and Mejia all are not on the 40 man roster, but the Mets currently have 2 open slots, and if Coste is waived, then it becomes a mute point. This is definitely not what we expected when spring training opened, but that's not necessarily a bad thing either. Now send Mejia down to AA!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Tobi Stoner

Tobi Stoner - 29

25 years old
6th Professional Season (Major League Debut last year)
6'2" 215 pounds
Bats S/ Throws R

The Good: He's a finesse pitcher, who relies on pinpoint control and mixes up his four-pitch repertoire.  Career walk rate in the minors is excellent (2.6 W/9). His fastball sits 91-92 when working out of the pen, he has an average change-up, and throws a below-average curve ball and slider. He was the 1st player selected in the 16th round of the 2006 draft to make the majors, and the 29th German-born player to reach the majors.

The Bad: Isn't a ground ball pitcher, and doesn't strike out hitters (less than 6 K/9). Doesn't project to be much more than an extra arm in the bullpen.

Role: AAA pitcher hoping for a bunch of injuries to make it back to the Mets. Needs to develop better off-speed offerings to change his limited upside projection.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Johan Santana

Johan Santana - #57

31 years old
11th Major League Season
6'0" 210 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The Good: Short arm action and delivers from a three-quarter arm slot. Excellent movement on his fastball which is now 92-93 mph. Has one of the best change-ups in baseball, and has a solid slider (that he wasn't able to "finish" last year due to his elbow). Very athletic and his fun personality is contagious. In his first 10 starts last year, he had a 1.77 ERA, while striking out 86 hitters in 66 innings.

The Bad: Had elbow surgery in September to take out bone chips (2nd time he's had this "clean up" surgery). His K/9 rates have dropped every year from 2004 (10.46 to 7.88 last year), and his walk/9 was his highest since 2003 high last year (2.48). Has turned into a fly ball pitcher.

Role: Clearly the #1, the Ace of this team, and the only reliable starter on the staff. He has however gone from the best pitcher in the game a few years ago, to "just" a top 5 pitcher in the league. That's not a shot at Johan; he is the most exciting player on the Mets, and is a treat to watch every single time he is on the mound.

My Projected Stats: 220 innings, 18 wins, 3.40 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 200 Ks, 50 Walks.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez - #75

28 years old
9th Major League Season
6'0" 195 pounds
Bats R/ Throws R

The Good: Violent delivery with a rapid, high leg kick. Attacks hitters with 3 above-average pitches: 94 mph fastball with good movement, power curveball with a big 12-6 break, and a swing and miss change-up. Still averaged over a K/inning last year in what many considered a "down year". Hitters hit .203 against him last year. He loves to pitch every day.

The Bad: His K/9 has decreased every year since 2004, and his walks/9 increased to a career high 5.03 last year. After back spasms forced him to the hospital in Boston, his ERA the rest of the year was 4.94. With such a violent delivery, he's one pitch away from falling apart. Missed 2 weeks of spring training due to pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Role: Undisputed closer and leader of the bullpen. Needs to be the dominant reliever he was the past 5 years if the Mets are going to be a playoff contender this year. In the middle of a 3 year- 37 million dollar contract, with a vesting option for 17.5 million.

My Projected Stats: 68 innings, 35 saves, 2.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 75 Ks, 30 Walks.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Oliver Perez

Oliver Perez- #46

28 years old (29 in August)
9th Major League Season
6'3" 205 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The Good: When he's on, he looks like a Cy Young contender. Strikes out over a batter per inning over the course of his career. In 2007, he had a 3.56 ERA. Almost un-hittable versus lefties, as they haven't had a BAA over .210 in the past 3 years. Re-dedicated himself this winter, spending all winter in Arizona working out with Randy Johnson's former trainers. Is being mentored throughout camp by Johan Santana. Low three-quarters arm slot. Was throwing 92-93 MPH fastball this spring (up from 88-89 last year), and has late tailing action. Slider is effective versus lefties.

The Bad/ugly: When he's off, he looks like a lost puppy. Came into camp last year overweight and had knee pain that he couldn't pitch through. Shut it down and had surgery in September. You want to know how he pitches? He walked close to a batter an inning last year, and right-handed hitters hit over .300 against him last year. He has no command, his mechanics have been inconsistent/not repeatable, and loses focus easily. Also throws a slider and a change up, neither of which are effective vs right-handers.

Role: In the middle of a three year, 36 million dollar deal (who exactly were we bidding against Omar when you raised the offer from 30 million)? He is the #3 starter on paper, and a lot of people think the season hinges on how he performs.  After I watched him in spring training, I hopped on his bandwagon, but after watching a couple of his spring training stats, I'm beginning to realize it is still "same ol' Ollie".

My Projected Stats: 160 innings, 13 wins, 4.40 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 150 Ks, 80 Walks.

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2002.

2002: Mets vs Pirates
Sophomore year of Quinnipiac. Met Rory and 3 of his friends from Nova (Doug, Joe and Tim). Tailgated in the marina next to Doug’s Jetta; I was in a rush to get into the game, so I threw the charcoal into the garbage can and almost set it on fire. Oops.

Mets beat the Pirates 6-2, and was a pleasant 57 degrees.

Mets starting line-up:
R Cedeno LF
R Alomar 2B
M Vaughn 1B
M Piazza C
E Alfonso 3B
J Burnitz RF
J Payton CF
R Ordonez SS (would be a perfect fit for Seattle's all-defense team)
A Leiter P

Pirates Starting Line-up:
A Brown CF
J Kendall C (how many fantasy titles did he win for me in his prime? Wait, somebody tell KC he stinks)
A Ramirez 3B
K Young 1B
A Rios LF
C Wilson RF
M Benjamin SS
P Reese 2B (I always liked Pokey)
R Villone P (got to love that he's still around solely because he throws left-handed)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey - #34
26 years old
5th Major League Season
6'7" 230 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Throws a sinking 92-94 MPH fastball, that he can dial it up to 97 MPH. Stayed healthy and lead the team in starts and innings in 2009. Had a great 2008 season, going over 200 innings and had a 3.72 ERA. Is a ground-ball pitcher who was not helped by the Mets porous infield defense last year.

The Bad: Forced to throw his fastball 80% of the time, because his slider and change-up are still below-average major league pitches. Had a 5.03 ERA last year (mostly due to poor defense and bad luck with HRs).  Doesn't strike out many hitter (K/9 has been under 5.6 last 3 years)

Role: #2 starter behind Johan. Has a pitcher's body/size, and hopefully will continue to develop his secondary pitches. Was drafted in the 1st round in 2005 and was one of the best pitchers in the draft, but has been viewed by many as a disappointment thus far.

My Projected Stats: 200 innings, 12 wins, 4.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 110 Ks, 60 Walks

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Bobby Parnell

Bobby Parnell - #39

25 years old (26 in September)
3rd Major League Season
6'4" 200 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: One of the hardest throwers in the organization, throwing a sinking fastball between 94-97 mph, and hitting 100 a few times in 2009. Also throws a slider, but it's inconsistent. Was a ground-ball pitcher in the minors, but has been more of a fly-ball pitcher in the majors. Had a 3.46 ERA last year out of the bullpen. On June 6, he had a 1.96 ERA and had struck out 20 hitters out in 23 innings.

The Bad: He has a good fastball, but nothing else. Mets tried to make him a starter at the end of last year, and it failed miserably. He couldn't last 5 innings, as he doesn't have any worth-while secondary offerings and was wild (4.7 W/9).

Role: Reliever who is battling for the last spot in the bullpen. He has options so he could be sent down to AAA to work on his secondary offerings.

My projected Stats: 40 innings, 1.45 WHIP, 3.80 ERA, 30 Ks, 22 BB

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Fernando Nieve

Fernando Nieve - #38

27 years old (28 in July)
4th major league season
6'0" 215 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: His fastball sits in the low 90s and can hit 96 mph, while also featuring a slider and a change-up. He needs his change-up to be his main out-pitch. Is a fly-ball pitcher who lives in the upper-half of the zone, which explains why he has let up 24 HRs in 143 major league innings. In his 1st 3 starts for the Mets (after being released by the Astros in spring training), he allowed only 3 runs over 20 2/3 innings.

The Bad: Walks too many people (4.66 W/9) and gives up too many home runs. Tore his quadricep muscle on July 19th and missed the remainder of the season. Also had Tommy John surgery in 2007. His walk rates and home run rates haven't changed over the past four years, which isn't a good sign. After those three games discussed above, he allowed 10 runs in the next 15 innings.

Role: Swing man/long reliever. Looks like he should be a good pitcher, but needs to improve his control/command before that happens. Is out of options, so needs to stay on the 25 man roster or the Mets will probably lose him to waivers.

My Projected Stats: 60 innings, 1.55 WHIP, 4.80 ERA, 50Ks, 30 BB

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Jonathon Niese

Jonathon Niese - #49

23 years old
3rd major league season (8 games)
6'4" 215 pounds
Bats L/ Throws L

The Good: His signature pitch is his 12-6 curve-ball, which scouts rate as "plus-plus"; fastball is in the low 90s, and he also features an average change-up. Added a cutter to the repertoire last year, which has average velocity but late movement. He pounds the strike zone (except with his curve-ball, which often misses low). He is a ground-ball pitcher. Had started to develop confidence and poise during his stint with the Mets in July, but he avulsed his hamstring (tore the muscle right off the bone) in August. He looked very comfortable running and fielding his position when I saw him early in Spring Training (not favoring his hamstring at all). He projects to be an eventual #3/4 starter. Rates between the #3 and #5 on Mets' prospects list.

The Bad: One of the only pitchers ever to have his hamstring reattached to the bone, so there are no comps for his recovery (which looks to be complete). Had inconsistent mechanics at the beginning of last year and had allowed 34 runs in less than 32 innings in his first seven starts in AAA last year. Stats for his 5 starts in the big league club in 2009: 25 2/3 innings, 27 hits, 9 walks, 18 ks, 1.40 WHIP, 4.21 ERA.

Projected Role: Niese was drafted in the seventh round back in 2005. He is penciled in as the 5th starter. Most scouts feel that he isn't going to get any better than this, but I am a little more optimistic since he is still only 23 years old.

My Projected Stats: 140 innings, 4.35 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 110 Ks, 45 walks.

Battle of the Blogs

I participated in a draft last week, "Battle of the Blogs", a collection of 20 blog writers trying to show their baseball knowledge in a fantasy baseball league. I will be previewing my team next week (after my two other remaining drafts), and will be making weekly/bi-weekly updates on it, as well as having some guest blog posts and links to other blogs that I'm facing that week.  To read more about the league, check this out: http://www.doublegsports.com/2010/03/Battle-of-the-Blogs-Preview-League-and-Draft.aspx.

I want to thank Gregg from Double G Sports for organizing it. This was part of my participation in the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (you may have noticed the logo on the side of the page). This is a great network of bloggers and for those who are looking for other new blogs for teams that the Mets will be playing, check out the site for some recommended sites. Baseball Bloggers Alliance Home Page

Here is Gregg's recap of his draft, Double G's Draft Recap, and Kate (who had the 1st pick of the draft and took A-Rod)...Lady Love Pinstripes

Opening Day Roll Call?

I will be going to Opening Day with my brother this year, sitting in Section 520, Row 8.  I'm just trying to figure out what time people are planning on getting to the park to tailgate; or are people going right to McFadden's to check it out?

Post in the comments below if you are going to the game/what you plan on doing beforehand; maybe we can get a big group tailgate/get-together for one of the best days of the year!

Also, Mets Police is spearheading a get-together that I may meet up with depending on the timing of, but to check it out, head over here: http://metspolice.com/2010/03/24/blue-cap-army-update-3/. She has some unique posts, so be sure to check it out.

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2001

2001: Mets vs Braves
Freshman year of Quinnipiac. Got a note from Veronica, who worked at a MD office, that I had otitis media (which I had to memorize was an inner ear infection); skipped chem lab which is why I needed the note. Again went with Doug and his brother Pat.

Mets won 9-4, behind a crowd of 53,600. It was 66 degrees and sunny. I also remember that a Braves doll was being hung by a noose in the Mezzanine section we were sitting in.

Mets Starting Line-up:
D Hamilton LF
E Alfonso 2B
R Ventura 3B
M Piazza C
T Zeile 1B
J Payton CF
T Shinjo RF (Good ol #5 before D Wright)
R Ordonez SS
K Appier P (what a great trade Appier for Mo Vaughn. who got the better/less worse end of that deal)?

Braves Starting Line-up:
R Furcal SS
Q Veras 2B (I had him on one of my fantasy teams back 10 years ago)
C Jones 3B
B Jordan RF (an all-time Mets killer)
BJ Surhoff LF
A Jones CF
J Lopez C
R Brogna 1B (TC still proudly wears his Brogna jersey)
K Millwood P

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Itouch/Iphone App. - Batting Goggles

For those readers who have an Itouch/Iphone, I wanted to update you on an app that was just released on Itunes, "Batting Goggles".  I started hearing about it yesterday (Hardball Times), and decided to download it tonight. WOW. It's a wealth of information.

For .99 cents, you have access to every player's hitting and pitching charts both in AND out of the strike zone, using all of last year's data (there is talk of expanding it to prior years and possibly updating it monthly/quarterly during the season for an additional cost). It wasn't until I was looking at this tonight that I realized how AWFUL D Wright was last year on pitches on the outer 1/3 of the plate. For example, versus right handed pitchers last year, he hit .077 up and away, slugged .185 middle away, and hit .176 low and away. You can sort these charts by RHP or LHP or both. You will never lose a bar argument about player's strengths and weaknesses ever again. And with the simple interface, it took less than 10 seconds to get that data. Another great thing is that all the data is downloaded onto your device, so you don't need to be connected to the internet to have access to the data.

I can already tell this app is going to change how I watch games not only at home, but also when I'm at the ballpark. You will also start to see some of this data in the remaining scouting reports I will be finishing up this week.

For those who want to see more screen shots, check this page out: Sabometrics.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions about it.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 Man Roster- Pat Misch

Pat Misch- #48
28 years old (29 in August)
4th Major League Season
6'2" 195 pounds
Bats R/ Throws L

The Good: Threw one of the two CG shutouts for the Mets last season (last week of the season). Started his career with the Giants, but was designated for assignment after going 0-7 combined in the big leagues in 2007 and 2008. He has pretty good control, but has just mediocre stuff - high 80s fastball, decent change, as well as a slider and curve. Tries to be portrayed as "Tom Glavine lite".

The Bad: He is a finesse lefty who doesn't miss bats (poor 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, and only a 3.5 K/9 during his tenure with the Mets). He also is prone to giving up too much home runs. Limited upside.

Role: He is out of options, so would have to clear waivers to go down to Buffalo.  He is a roster-filler for Buffalo and hopefully he won't be needed in Flushing again this year.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- John Maine

John Maine- #33

28 years old (29 in May)
6th Major League Season
6'4" 200 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: He has a long three-quarters arm action and a 91-95 mph fastball (UPDATE MAY: He now sits 86-89 mph) that rides up in the zone. Likes to throw his fastball inside. He also throws an 85 mph cutter, which is 2nd best pitch. He has a fringe change-up and below average breaking balls. Is a fly ball pitcher, which can be successful in cavernous Citi Field. Back in 2007, Maine won 15 games, and his strikeout rate (8.5 K/9) was 6th in the National League. Pitched better in his 4 starts at the end of last year after returning from a pinched nerve.

The Bad: Shoulder surgery ended his 2008 season, and he rushed his rehab and had to go on the DL last year, managing only 81 innings. His walk rate has steadily increased (3.3 in 2006, 3.5 2007, to 4.2 BB/9 last year), as well as increasing pitch counts limited how deep in the game he could pitch. His strikeout rates have also decreased from 8.5 K/9 in 2007 to a pedestrian 6.1 last year (MLB average is 7.1). All that adds up to a whole lot of NOT GOOD.

Role: As long as he's healthy, he's penciled in to be the #3 starter. This is a big year for his career.

My Projected Stats: 120 innings, 9 wins, 1.38 WHIP, 4.50 ERA, 95 Ks, 55 walks.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Eddie Kunz

Eddie Kunz - #40

23 years old (24 in April)
4th Professional Season (4 games pitched in 2008)
6'6" 265 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Was the Mets top draft pick (#42) in 2007 after being a part of two College World Series Championships as the closer of the Beavers of Oregon State. It's not his fault he symbolizes everything that has been wrong with the Mets' drafts since Omar Minaya took control of the organization (not taking high upside talent; instead take a boring, essentially middle reliever). He was drafted to be a ground-ball machine, but gave up a HR during his brief cup of coffee with the Mets in 2008 and has struggled with his command/confidence ever since. Works with a 91-93 MPH fastball (had touched 97 back in 2008), and a slurve (used to be a hard slider) from his low 3/4s delivery. Still had a 71% GB/FB ratio last year.

The Bad: His stock his plummeted so much that he has not gotten a call up to the big leagues in September in either of the past 2 years. Needs to work on his conditioning/watch his ballooning weight. He has been noted to open up his front side too quickly and thus has trouble staying up top of the ball (limiting the effectiveness of his sinker). Doesn't miss bats and walked too many batters last year (31 walks in 61 innings). Sinker is his only above-average pitch, needs to continue to develop a change-up and/or slider.

Role: AAA pitcher until he harnesses his control and weight. Still has a projectable body (6'6") and can be effective if utilized correctly and if he can develop a 2nd pitch. Could he be the next Heath Bell?

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man roster- Ryota Igarashi

Ryota Igarashi - #18
30 years old (31 in May) 
1st Major League Season; been pitching in Japan since 2000
5'10" 190 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Throws mid-90s (jointly holds the record for fastest pitch in Japan 98.75 MPH), and supposedly has a deadly splitter that is around 90 mph. Has had a sub 4.00 ERA for the past 9 years over in Japan (minus one year following Tommy John Surgery in 2007). Also mixes in a curve and/or a slider (has been working on those in spring training). Keith Law of ESPN rated him the 25th best free agent this off-season, and described his motion as having some deception and a "drop and drift without great forward momentum toward the plate."

The Bad: Has not been great in Spring Training, with 11 hits allowed, 5 walks and only 6 strikeouts in 9 innings. Granted it's a small sample size, but we have little other data to use.

Stats from Japan 2008: 43 2/3 innings, 35 hits, 6 walks, 42 Ks. .94 WHIP, 2.47 ERA
Stats from Japan 2009: 53 2/3 innings, 42 hits, 20 walks, 44 Ks, 1.16 WHIP, 3.19 ERA

Role: Potential 8th inning set-up man if he excels. Signed a 2-year deal for 3 million this off-season, and some international scouts think this could end up being a bargain.
My Projected Stats: 50 innings, 4.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 45 Ks, 25 walks.

Here is my original post re: Igarashi back in December
Igarashi Dec 15th

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener 2000.

The 2nd year of the streak I was a senior in high school and knew I was skipping school, as well as baseball practice again (I had pitched a game the prior day). I once again went with Doug, along with his brother Pat (drove in his van), Jon M, and Rory came with us. We were all ready to go, until we found out we had to go to Kellenberg to pick up Kristy from school (why she went to school for 2 hours I have no idea).

Mets beat the Padres 2-1, as Derek Bell hit the Game-winning HR in the 8th inning, and we go home happy.

Mets starting line-up:
R Henderson LF
D Bell RF
E Alfonso 2B
M Piazza C
T Zeile 1B
R Ventura 3B
M Mora CF
R Ordonez SS
A Leiter P

A Martin LF
D Jackson SS
T Gwynn RF
P Nevin 3B
R Klesko 1B
B Boone 2B
R Rivera CF
C Hernandez C
S Hitchcock P (good old Sterling)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man roster- Sean Green

Sean Green - #50
30 years old (31 in April)
5th major league season
6'6" 225 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good:  He's a usable arm who gets a lot of ground balls (66.2% of batted balls last year). Was a low 3/4 pitcher last year, then came to camp more submarine, but then in his last game he reverted to more of a side-arm motion.

The Bad: Walks way too many people to be given an important role in the bullpen (4.65 walks/9 innings). Allowed nearly half of his 34 inherited runs to score last year. Lefties hit .275 against him for his career, and has allowed a 1.85 WHIP to lefties.

Role: Could be designated for assignment if the Mets do put Mejia in the bullpen. Right now he is a righty specialist that should be used in low-leveraged situations.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man roster- Nelson Figueroa

Nelson Figueroa- #27

35 years old (36 in May)
9th Major League Season
6'1" 180 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: A local guy (from Brooklyn) who grew up as a Mets fan. Throws an upper 80s fastball, which he mixes in with cutters, sinker, curves, sliders and change-ups. Just hopes to win a guessing game with the hitter. Threw a 4-hit shutout on the last day of the season vs the Astros to lower his ERA by 1/2 a run (to 4.09 ERA).

The Bad: A 35/6 year old journeyman who doesn't have over-powering stuff, and had a 1.48 WHIP last year.

Role: Fighting for a spot on the roster as the long-man out of the bullpen. He is out of options, so he would need to clear waivers to go to Buffalo. Adam Rubin has speculated Figgy would take a job in Japan if he doesn't make the team. If that's the case, good riddance.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man Roster- Pedro Feliciano

Pedro Feliciano- #25

33 years old (34 in August)
8th major league season
5'10" 190 pounds
Bats L/Throws L

The Good: Has led the league in appearances the past 2 years (88 and 86 appearances), and has said he wants to try to get to 90 appearances this year. Depends on a 86-88 MPH sinker and a darting slider, which limited left-handed hitters to a .245 on-base percentage. Had a career best 1.16 WHIP last year. Got a lot of ground balls last year.

The Bad: Righties hit .341 against him in 2008, and .275 in his career. WHIP is over 1.6 for his career vs righties. Gave up 7 home runs in 59 innings, which is troubling.

Role: Lefty specialist who should not be allowed to face righties, but can pitch practically every day. Signed a one year 2.9 million dollar contract this off-season

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 Man Roster- Clint Everts

Clint Everts - #61
25 years old (26 in August)
5th Professional Season (no major league experience)
6'2" 195 pounds
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: Was a high school teammate of Scott Kazmir and was drafted by Omar when he was the Expos GM. Throws a low-90s fastball, which allowed him to post an impressive 10.2 K/9 innings in 2009.

The Bad: Needs to improve his walk rate more (decreased last year to 3.9 W/9, but it was 4.7 W/9 over his career). Has battled injuries throughout his career. Started last year in A ball (finished in AAA).

Role: Was sent down last week, and will face a long, improbable road to make the Mets this year. If he makes his major league debut this season with the Mets, it's probably a sign that injuries ravaged this team once again.

Scouting Report Pitchers on 40 man roster- Kelvim Escobar

Kelvim Escobar - #45
33 years old (34 in April)
6'1" 230 pounds
13th major league season
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Drop and drive delivery with a short arm action and a high 3/4 release point. "When healthy" he throws mid-90s, a power slider with late bite, a tight curveball and a splitter that falls off the table. He was supposed to be the answer to the Mets 8th inning this year.

The Bad: Has thrown 5 innings in the past 2 years and is currently not throwing after experiencing pain and weakness after Winter ball. Had a labral (shoulder) repair surgery performed by Dr. Altchek in 2008. Has mentioned he may retire if his shoulder doesn't respond soon.

Role: All based on health, he would be the Mets 8th inning reliever, but if not, well, he better thank Omar for guaranteeing him over a million dollars this off-season.  Earliest he could debut is May if at all...

To view my previous posts on Escobar, click here:
Escobar Feb 28
Escobar Dec 27

Great article on Mejia and the Batters he's faced in Spring Training

Toby Hyde of MetsMinorLeagueBlog.com, with an outstanding article looking at the batters Mejia has faced this spring training, and how he has faced SIX batters who had over 300 plate appearance in the major leagues in 2009.

But at this point, when he was facing one of his final tests of his bullpen mettle, he had faced exactly SIX batters who had 300 or more MLB AB in ‘09. Six. Anything can happen over six AB.  As decision-making processes go, isn’t this the equivalent of going to the beach in Far Rockaway, wading knee deep into the ocean, and deciding that since you not only didn’t die, but feel good, you’re going to swim to Spain?

He also quotes Keith Law and Jim Callis on their opinions of the Mets poor decision making.

At ESPN.com Keith Law is blunt in his discussion about the Mets plan to move Mejia to the ‘pen:
I hate it. He’s a raw, high-upside arm with the weapons to be a  starter in the long term, if he’s given time to improve his command and consistency on his change and curve. Instead they’re cutting off that upside for a quick fix in the pen. By the way, promoting prospects who aren’t ready is a hallmark of GMs in fear for their jobs.
Baseball America’s Jim Callis made the same point in his ESPN Chat:
Peter (NY)
Jim, What is your opinion on how the Mets are handling Meija’s development? If he has a chance to be a legitimate top of the rotation pitcher, arent they hurting his development by rushing him to the majors and developing him as a late inning 1 or 2 pitch reliever?
Jim Callis

(2:10 PM)
The Mets’ front office is in win-now/save-our-jobs mode. I would have sent him to Double-A as a starter to begin the season.

Read the rest of Toby's article here: http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/2010/03/25/an-absurdly-detailed-look-at-the-batters-mejia-has-faced-this-spring/

I know I'm kicking a dead horse with this issue, but it needs to be discussed.

And to read my previous posts about Mejia, here they are:
March 12th
March 6th

Countdown to Opening Day. Home Opener, 1999.

As many of you know, I had a 10 year streak of Mets openers attended snapped last year (The streak began in 1999). As this year's opening day approaches, I will be posting a memory of each of those games every day leading up to this year's opener, which I will be attending and starting a new streak.

For those who also attended any of these games, feel free to post any of your memories.

Junior Year of KMHS and skipped school for the day; Went w/Doug and I drove to Shea in my parents Jeep. We got lost (it was my 1st time driving to Shea myself), and had to make a detour driving across a patch of grass. I also skipped baseball practice due to being lifted for a pinch hitter the day before IN THE 1ST INNING. I started at 2nd base in place of Reid Gorecki (he didn’t start because he was late to practice the day before). Reid made his major league debut last year, and is currently in the Yankees system. Yes that's one of my claims to fame.

Mets Starting Line-up:
R Henderson LF
E Alfonso 2B
J Olerud 1B
B Bonilla RF
R Ventura 3B
B McRae CF
T Pratt C
R Ordonez SS
B Jones P

Marlins Starting Line-up:
L Castillo 2B
A Gonzalez SS
M Kotsay RF
D Lee 1B
T Dunwoody CF
P Wilson LF
J Fabregas C
D Berg 3B
L Hernandez P

Mets won 8-1; weather was 50 degrees and cloudy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scouting Report Position by Position- Jason Pridie

Jason Pridie- #92

26 years old
3rd major league season (11 games)
6'1" 205 pounds
Bats L/Throws R

The Good: He is fast, and stole 25 bases last year (100+ SB over the past 4 years), and can play all three outfield positions well (Totalzone, which is the main fielding metric for the minor leagues, has him at +63 over the past 4 years). Has gap power and hit 16 triples in 2008 (5 in 121 games in 2009).

The Bad: Walks too little, strikes out too much (85 k's, 19 walks last year, 152 ks and 30 walks in 2008). Was originally a Devils Ray pick, released after 2 years, picked up by the Twins and was released after 2 years. Doesn't have the plate discipline to succeed as of now.

Role: Another 4th or 5th outfielder in the Jeremy Reed mold; will spend most/all of the year in AAA waiting for an injury/seeing if he can stop striking out so much.

With that, all the position players on the 40-man roster has been previewed. Here are the links to the other outfielders:
Carlos Beltran
Jason Bay
Jeff Francoeur
Angel Pagan
Gary Matthews Jr.
Chris Carter
Fernando Martinez
Nick Evans

I have 17 pitchers on the 40 man roster to write up, and opening day is 13 days away. So I'm a few days behind my goal, but I'll get it done. Hope you guys have been enjoying these, and continue to add your comments or thoughts on these players/expectations.

Scouting Report Position by Position- Nick Evans

Nick Evans - #6

24 years old
3rd major league season
6'3" 210 pounds
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: In the minors, Evans has crushed left-handed pitching, sporting a .303/.380/.554 line against them. Was very unlucky last year with a very low BAPIP (.233 when it's normally around .300), while everything else (walk rate, strikeout rate and isolated power) all remained the same. Has hit around 15 home runs each of the past few years in approximately 400 at bats.

The Bad: Must have pissed off Jerry Manuel because he was called up 2x last year, yet only got 69 at bats, and was sitting on the bench in August/September watching Cory Sullivan and Jeremy Reed play (neither of whom have any upside and neither of whom are still with the organization). Fringe defender in the outfield, fair at 1B.

Role: Evans got sent down to AAA this week and barring an injury/Jerry Manuel being fired, he probably will stay there for a while. Could be an effective part in a platoon at 1B now/in the future.

One other note: When I was down at Spring Training and the outfielders were taking BP, everyone was talking and joking around, but Nick Evans was by himself and not interacting with anyone. Maybe he was having a bad day (as we all do every once in a while), but that was striking to me at the time and I still remember it.

Scouting Report Position by Position- Fernando Martinez

Fernando Martinez- #26

21 years old
2nd major league season (91 at bats last year)
6'1" 200 pounds
Bats L/Throws R

The Good: Was signed for a then record 1.3 million back in 2005. Still only 21 years old, and has been a top prospect for the past 4 years. Has power potential to all fields and slugs mammoth home runs in BP that make scouts drool. Has great bat speed and should be able to hit for a solid average.  Hit 8 Home Runs in AAA (including 2 off of Clay Buchholz) in 190 at bats last year. He has the power potential for 20-30 HRs and some scouts consider him a top 20 prospect in the game if he can stay healthy. Had a solid winter league performance (Caribbean World Series MVP) and it has carried over to Spring Training thus far.

The Bad: Injuries have limited him to 303 games in 4 professional seasons (has never played 100 games in a season). Was once viewed as a 5-tool player, but he has gained weight in his lower body and his speed has slowed down. Most scouts view him as a corner outfielder vs a center fielder. Average outfield arm with inconsistent throwing mechanics. Needs to develop a more patient approach at the plate.

Role: Start the year in AAA, prove that he can stay healthy, and get called up to the big leagues if/when Jeff Francoeur falters/gets hurt, or in September.

Future Role: Still viewed as a future All-Star. The Mets #1 position prospect and could be the starting right fielder in 2011. 

Scouting Report Position by Position- Angel Pagan

Angel Pagan - #16

28 years old (29 in August)
5th Major League Season
6'2" 195 pounds
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: Sound swing and approach from both sides of the plate, but better results as a right-handed hitter (.299/.350/.452). Generates good bat speed and has gap power, which in Citi Field resulted in 6 triples last year. Runs very well and is an average to above average defensive outfielder. Prototypical 4th outfielder

The Bad: Angel has had a long list of injuries, including 2 DL stints last year. Led the league in boneheaded base-running gaffes last year. Doesn't have home run power (career high 6 HR last year). As a left-handed hitter, career .245/.291/.425

Role: Starting center fielder until Beltran returns, and will then go back to his role as the 4th outfielder.

Scouting Report Position by Position- Gary Matthews Jr.

Gary Matthews Jr. #19

35 years old (36 in August)
12th major league season
6'3" 225 pounds
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: 22 out of the 23.5 million dollars owed to him on his contract is being paid by the Angels. Had a career year in 2006. Smiled and signed a lot of autographs on his first day at Mets Camp. Has been working a lot with hitting coach Howard Johnson. Is a decent base-runner.

The Bad: Has had no power over the past 2 years. Was a disruption in the clubhouse last year after being benched and asked to be traded. Everyone remembers his highlight catches, but he has turned into a poor defensive outfielder.  He has done nothing positive on the field over the past 3 years. To see my initial reaction to the trade, check out this link (Gary Matthews Jr. Trade).  He was on track to get flat out released by the Angels and be available to play for the league minimum, but Omar instead traded for him and is paying him twice that much.

Role: Most likely the 4th outfielder until Carlos Beltran comes back. In competition with Angel Pagan for playing time while Beltran is out. I would like to see the Mets just release him and use the roster spot for Chris Carter.

Scouting Report Position by Position- Chris Carter

Chris Carter- #23

(does Mike Jacobs stand in the way of Chris Carter making the roster?)

27 years old (28 in September)
6'0" 230 pounds
3rd Major League Season (26 at bats in his career)
Bats L/Throws R.

The Good: A Professional hitter. Has hit at every level of the minors (.306/.380/.510), but hasn't gotten a chance to prove he can hit major league pitching yet. Hit 24 HR in AAA in 2008. Relentless worker, nicknamed "The Animal" by Jerry Manuel. He slugged .502 vs righties last year in AAA, so could be a platoon option.

The Bad: Has struggled defensively in the outfield, and doesn't have "1st base power". Unproven commodity in the majors (but he hasn't gotten a chance).

Projected Role: I would love for him to get a chance to play in the Majors, but my guess is that he will start in AAA.

Chris Carter, "the animal"

Great read from Brian Costa of the NJ Star-Ledger.

As the Mets have quickly learned, Carter doesn’t kid. Like a baseball cyborg, he is programmed to hit, run, throw and train with maximum intensity but is incapable of doing any of it nonchalantly.
And Jerry Manuel on Chris Carter:
“I tell you, he’s making a bid,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We have a pinch-hitting spot open at this stage, and he has put his name in the hat very strongly, no doubt about that. I’ve been very impressed with his at-bats.”

Manuel has given Carter a nickname: The Animal.

When Manuel arrives at Tradition Field shortly before 7 a.m., Carter is already there, riding a stationary bike in the weight room. When most players leave in the late afternoon, Carter is still there, taking extra infield practice before lifting more weights.

To read the entire article, check it out here.


Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes, according to Omar Minaya, will return to Port St. Lucie tomorrow and will begin working out starting from scratch. Opening day is 13 days away.

My preliminary guess, and all it is is a guess, is that he will start the year on the DL, but will be back in the middle of April.

Welcome back Jose, we can't wait to see you on the field.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Expectations for Bay and Beltran

People were all over the lot for Beltran's HR totals, and rightfully so, as there are a lot of questions on if Beltran will return in early May, or if it will be in May at all.

I was surprised 80% of voters expected less than 30 HRs for Jason Bay, even though he hit 36 last year.

I am expecting over 20 HRs from Beltran, and 30 from Bay. Hope I'm right...

Scouting Report Position by Position- Jeff Francoeur

Jeff Francoeur- #12

26 years old
6'4" 220 pounds
6th Major League Season
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: He has a lot of energy and does a lot of interviews to take pressure off the other players. Has a strong arm in RF. He plays every day (which I would debate isn't necessarily a positive, but...), and has averaged 15 HRs over the past 3 years (hit 29 HRs in 2006). Line drive % jumped since coming over to the Mets and working with Hojo to restore his bat speed. He likes the ball down and wants to pull it.

The Bad: Had 23 walks last year. Saw 3.34 pitches per plate appearance last year, which was 5th worst in the NL. His line drive #s jumped to a career-best 25% last year, but there is no data that shows that that can be sustained year over year (line drive % varies and regresses to a mean). Defensive metrics showed he was a below average outfielder last year. For more stats that show he is not a good baseball player, refer back to this post I made in December (Jeff Francoeur- December 1, 2009). He has a very long swing. Career slash stats: .271/.311/.432 (so as you can see from the numbers of an average RF last year, he is below average).

Projected Role: Starting RF until his line drive rate drops, he continues not to walk, and people in NY realize what Atlanta said last year, "he stinks". Thankfully the Mets didn't give him a multi-year deal, YET...

My Projected Stats: 680 plate appearances,  20 walks, 70 runs, 16 HRs, 80 RBIs, .270/.315/.425.

As a reference, MLB Right Fielders average last year: .272/.346/.447

That wraps up the starting outfield for the Mets. Here are the links to the other 2 starters.
Carlos Beltran
Jason Bay

I will be posting the other outfielders scouting reports in the next 36 hours, and move quickly onto the pitchers.

2 weeks from today until Mets Opening Day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Some reading on a beautiful Friday.

Carlos Beltran gave a bunch of interviews yesterday after working out for 2 1/2 hours rehabbing his knee. He is targeting the early-Mid May return to the Mets, and has been taking some swings in the cage, and throwing a bit. And it was also great to hear he is finally  "pain-free".

Here is a link to one of the articles. http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/mets/ll_be_stronger_than_ever_vfNBdZWT6SqxJt2HesHUWM

Another good read re: the Mets comes from Adam Rubin as he looks at the composition of the 25 man roster, which you can compare to my post from March 9th (Battle for Last Roster Spot). His thoughts echo mine, with R Tejada joining the club as a SS until Reyes returns (which was not known at the time I wrote up my post).  He also believes M Jacobs will grab the last spot on the bench.

He has both Niese winning the 5th spot, and F Nieve grabbing the long man in the bullpen. However, he says both Parnell and/or S Green's spot in the bullpen is not guaranteed, with Meija right now making the roster.

Here's the link: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/mets/2010/03/roster-analysis.html

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Scouting Report Position by Postion, Outfield- Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran- # 15

32 years old (33 in April)
6'1" 205 pounds
13th Major League Season
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: Streaky switch-hitter that has been very consistent. Likes the ball up over the plate, and is more of a pull hitter as a righty. Steals bases with a very high % (88.2%). Glides to the ball and covers a lot of ground in CF (but had a bad season last year). Has a plus arm, which is also accurate. .283 career hitter, but hit .325 last year, and .354 on the road. Quietly putting together a potential Hall of Fame career.

The Bad: His knees are beginning to show his age and the wear and tear of patrolling the outfield all these years. Only played 81 games last year; had surgery this off-season and is projected to miss April (he has yet to resume any baseball activities). Has trouble with fastballs inside. Only hit 10 HRs last year, and his splits at home are significantly worse than on the road (.585 slug % on the road, .403 at home).

Projected Role: Starting CF and middle of the line up hitter when healthy. Hopeful to return by May 1.

My Projected stats: 500 At bats, 100 runs, 20 HR, 90 RBIs, 16 SB, .290/.380/.500

As a reference, Major League Center Fielders last year were: .267/.334/.413.

So Jason Bay, C Beltran, D Wright and J Reyes are all above average, and we have RF remaining.

Fans: Beltran over/under 20 HRs this year?

Scouting Report 40 man roster, Outfield- Jason Bay

Jason Bay - #44

31 years old (32 in September)
6'2", 205 pounds
8th Major League Season
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Very consistent performer, and outside of 2007 (when he was playing on 2 bad knees), he has never slugged less than .522. Hit 36 HRs last year, and is a smart base runner (89% Career Stolen Base Percentage). He is a very streaky and dangerous bat, as well as a pull hitter. He is a patient hitter and had 94 walks last year. Has had an on-base % over .370 the past 2 years.

The Bad: He strikes out a lot (162 strikeouts last year), and is a below-average left fielder that will not be getting much better over the duration of his contract. He is very streaky (hit only 1 HR last July and hit under .200).

Role: Starting Left-fielder for the next 4 years (signed 4 year, 66 million dollar contract this off-season).

My Projected stats: 650 at bats, 98 runs, 32 HRs, 100 RBIs, 10 SB, .270/.370/.525.

As a reference, Major League Left Fielders stats last year were: .269/.341/..441

So he joins D Wright and J Reyes as above average position players so far for the Mets, with C Beltran and J Francoeur previews still to come.

Fans: Will he hit over/under 30 HRs this season?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anderson Hernandez claimed off waivers

Maybe Omar read my glowing report of Anderson Hernandez last week and finally realized he isn't good and/or worthy of a 40 man-roster spot, and put him on waivers.

Well, he did just that, and Hernandez has been claimed by the Cleveland Indians.

Nice job Omar; wow, it is weird to write that statement.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lefty for the Bullpen

Ron Villone was just released by the Nationals; he's a lefty relief pitcher, who will be the 1st blog/commenter to call for the Mets to sign him?
  • He is terrible, which is why he was just released from the Nationals.
    • Lefties hit .297 vs him last year, and had a 1.73 WHIP vs lefties.

And yes, Joe Beimel is still looking for Two million dollars and is unsigned.

All this while a Philadelphia beat reporter today said the Phillies desperately need another lefty reliever.

Why can't right-handed pitchers just get both-sided hitters out?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Great article on J Mejia growing up having no interest in baseball

Very solid read, from Brian Costa of the NJ Star-Ledger.

here's an excerpt:
The tools of his trade were a brush, a piece of cloth and a container of shoe polish. That was all Mejia needed when he left his house in Santo Domingo each morning and walked 30 minutes to the downtown cafe where he made his living.
On an island where baseball is like a religion, Mejia preferred shining shoes for 300 pesos a day, the equivalent of about $8.
"I didn't like baseball," Mejia said. "I just wanted to make money."

And another:
Mejia started shining shoes when he was 11. He didn't necessarily enjoy the work, but he took pride in earning money when other kids he knew were picking pockets.

"I didn't want to steal," he said.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quick Recap of Mets-Tigers today

Game was on channel 11 today, and I got to watch the whole game. So noteworthy points.

  • Oliver Perez had 3 1,2,3 innings, and was throwing 90-92 MPH. Didn't allow a hit in 4 innings of work, and stranded 2 walks in the 3rd inning.
  • Hisanori Takahashi threw 3 solid innings, striking out 3 and allowing a rope to Maglio Ordonez for his only hit allowed. He is looking very likely to grab a spot on the opening day roster (he isn't on the 40-man roster right now, but the Mets have an open spot to do the release of Jay Marshall). Although Keith Hernandez was glamoring for a 2nd lefty out of the bullpen today on the broadcast, Takahashi is not a lefty specialist as I've noted numerous times. But he has great control and has been effective thus far in multiple innings.
  • The Mets bats were shut down by Max Scherzer , who was throwing very hard (hit 96 mph), and overpowered hitters, striking out 5, and only allowing a flair by Luis Castillo.
  • The bats finally woke up and exploded for 4 HRs in the 7th inning, although 3 were wind-aided (D Wright to RF, D Murphy to RF, and J Bay to RF). Gary Matthews Jr hit a bomb to straight away CF for a HR. All these came against Tigers frame-throwing reliever Ryan Perry.
  • Fernando Martinez had a line drive base hit in his only at bat and continues to swing the bat well.
  • J Mejia threw 2 impressive innings again to close out the game, but did allow 3 hits and 1 run, while striking out 3. 
    • He had a number of filthy pitches, with batters flinching and backing away.

Position by Position 40 man roster- Shawn Bowman

Shawn Bowman- #63

25 years old
6'2" 190 pounds
Just added to 40 man roster this off-season
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Very good defensively. OBP .346 and Slug % .458 last year in AA, and 9 HRs in 379 at bats. Played for Team Canada in the WBC last year. Used to be a big time prospect when he was drafted in 2002 and was viewed as the 3rd baseman of the future, but that has not panned out just yet.

The bad: Chronic back injuries (spinal surgery) limited him to just 93 games from 2006 to 2008. Struck out 29.1% of his at bats last year, 5th worst in the Eastern League (hat tip Amazin Avenue Annual).

Projected Role: With D Wright firmly entrenched at 3B, S Bowman needs to improve his contact rate and stay healthy in Buffalo in order to showcase his skills as a potential trade option.

So the catchers and infielders scouting reports are now complete; check the blog archives on the side panal for those you may have missed. I will try to get through the outfielders by mid-week, and then address the pitchers. At that point, I will go back and give scouting reports on guys that are not on the 40-man roster, but are still noteworthy and have a chance to make the team.

Happy Saturday!

Position by Position 40 man roster- Anderson Hernandez

We will finish up the infielders on the 40 man roster today with 2 players not likely to make the 25 man roster (Anderson Hernandez and Shawn Bowman)

Anderson Hernandez- #11

27 years old
5'9" 185 pounds
6th major league season (184 major league games)
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: Had a good defensive season in 2006 at 2B.

The bad: .245/.303/.324 for his career, and has been declining in the field. Lost his starting job last year to Alberto Gonzalez in Washington, and got traded to the Mets. Started 39 games last August/September, but had no real contribution to the team.

Role: Trade option (he's out of options) or a filler at Buffalo if no one else wants a light hitting and light glove infielder.

Poll Results

77% of the readers think D Wright will hit > 20 HRs this year, and the number of the stolen bases from Reyes was split evenly.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beltran return?

Carlos Beltran is expecting to be playing rehab games in April, so maybe he is ahead of schedule? I know I'm talking about a Mets player here, so it can easily be pushed back to June...but right now hopefully we can get our all-star Centerfielder back full time by the middle/end of April.

Now that would be good news.

Poor Alex Cora

Ted Berg of SNY, has a nice article on our new opening day SS, Alex Cora, as well as taking a couple jabs at Omar once again. Ted also wrote a great article in the Amazin Avenue Annual, for those who have yet to download and read it. It was awesome. Well worth the price for his article alone (it's free).

Maybe they could weather Alex Cora’s weak hitting if he could save them some runs on the field. Or maybe he could make up for all those extra grounders he lets roll by if he knocked a few balls out of the park.
None of those things is likely to happen, though. Instead, Cora will just go on being the league’s most overpaid and overplayed replacement player. But hey, great guy.

Here's the link to the whole article: http://www.tedquarters.net/2010/03/11/a-convenient-excuse-to-pile-on-alex-cora/

My take: Agree 1000%

The Mets and Mejia

I have been meaning to write a post on the Mets apparent decision to shorten J Mejia's outings over the next couple weeks in order to gauge if he can pitch in the big league bullpen this year. I didn't get around to do it yet, but R.J. Anderson over at Fangraphs beat me to it.

The scariest part of this is not that Jerry Manuel is evidently making decisions on prospects. It’s that Omar Minaya is either in complete agreement or is totally indifferent to the situation at hand. Minaya’s job is to handle the team’s present and future assets with care and diligence. Manuel’s job is to manage the players assembled by Minaya and provide input on the margins, not to decide in autonomous fashion what capacity the team’s best pitching prospect should be used during spring. Neither is doing their job.

Here is the link to the full article: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-mets-and-mejia/

My take: Mejia has more value and upside as a #1 starter and needs more time to develop his secondary pitches in order to be a #1 starter. Can he pitch effectively out of the bullpen and help the club this year? Possibly. But this will stunt his development and create a potential fiasco later on (aka Joba), something that the Mets really need to avoid. Send the kid down to AA, and if we are in a pennant race in August/September, then bring him up to support the bullpen, then great. But no need to start him the bullpen. To read my thoughts from last Saturday on this, check this, with a video link (J Mejia)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reyes to start the year on the DL?

After the conference call just concluded, it sounds like it could take 2-8 weeks for his thyroid levels to level out, and it is becoming more likely Jose Reyes will be starting out the year on the DL. 

But don't worry, that's why we signed Alex Cora this off-season...

take deep breaths, take deep breaths...


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nice to know you, Jay Marshall

There had been whispers the past couple weeks that the Mets were trying to void the waiver claim of pitcher Jay Marshall, due to pre-existing arm injuries, and it finally went through. So Jay Marshall is going back to the Oakland A's, and the Mets currently have 39 players on the 40 man roster.

Scouting Report for the 40 man roster- David Wright

Was last year an aberration?? 

David Wright- #5 

27 years old
6'0" 215 pounds
7th major league season
Bats R/Throws R

The Good: Compact, inside-out swing (which may change slightly this year). A complete player that before last year, was one of the top 5 young players in the game. Career .309 hitter, and .390 OBP. Has averaged 24 steals the last 4 years. Had been regarded as an above average fielder in 2007 and 2008, but had a bad year last year in the field.

The bad: Had 618 plate appearances last year and hit only 10 HRs. He also struck out 140 times (previous high was 118, and he has 117 more plate appearances that year). Was thrown out stealing 9 times last year (75% success rate). Awful defensive metrics last year that need to improve.

Role: Starting 3B, and a main cog in the middle of the line up

My projections: 700 plate appearance, 105 runs, 28 Home Runs, 110 RBIs, 25 SB, .315/.400/.520

As a reference, major league 3B bat aver/OBP/Slug % in 2009 were: .265/.335/.421

Another position player above major league average (Jose Reyes being the other)!! 

And the answer to the above question, was last year an aberration? The answer is YES.

Hat tip to Eric Simon (Amazin Avenue Annual) for this interesting stat: David Wright will play 2010 as a 27-year old, and his .907 career OPS is second only to Miguel Cabrera among active players under 30

Scouting Report 40 man roster- Jose Reyes

I had taken a couple days off from the scouting reports, but I'll get back to it today covering the left side of the infield, starting with SS Jose Reyes.

Jose Reyes - #7

26 years old (turns 27 in June)
6'1" 200 pounds
8th major league season
Bats S/Throws R

The Good: When healthy, one of the most exciting players in baseball. Brings high energy to the field, as well as the fans. High fastball hitter, who generates very good bat speed and is a burner on the bases (60+ SB each year from 2005-2007, with 78 SB in 2007).As a shortstop, he has a cannon for an arm and has outstanding quickness and agility. Hit 19 triples in 2008 and Citi Field is built for his speed, which is referred to as "game changing". Shows equal power from both sides of the plate over his career (.429 Slug % Right handed; .148 isolated power, .452 Slug % Left handed; .150 isolated power)

The bad: Jose Reyes has been battered with injuries over the past year, from a torn calf, which cascaded into a torn hamstring which required surgery in the off-season. He appeared fully healthy until blood work at spring training has the team looking into potential thyroid problems. On the field, Reyes has very little weaknesses, besides occasionally losing focus on defense, and his defensive metrics have been inconsistent.

Role: Starting Shortstop as long as he stays healthy. Lead-off hitter, although Jerry Manuel is toying with the idea of hitting him 3rd until Carlos Beltran comes back.

Contract: In the last year of a guaranteed contract, and the Mets hold an 11 million club option for 2011. 

My Projections: 700 at bats, 115 runs, 16 HR, 60 RBIs, 45 SB, .288/.360/.450

As a reference, major league shortstops bat aver./obp/slug % last year was: .272/.328/.393

The first position player we've previewed that is actually above league average!! Let's have a party!

Review of the Amazin Avenue Annual

Again, for those of you who have a long commute on a train, or a lot of free time to read, I highly recommend downloading the Amazin Avenue Annual. It's over 300 pages of Mets commentary, player stats and scouting reports, as well as, top 10 prospects to keep an eye on in the lower levels. And best of all, the PDF is FREE (they are releasing a hard copy of the book soon as well).  Here is my original post on it, http://longlivesheastadium.blogspot.com/2010/03/great-pdf-download-for-amazins.html, and the annual is available for download at: http://www.amazinavenueannual.com/

My favorite chapters were chapters 6 and 8. It eloquently describes what the Mets have done and continue to do wrong over the past couple years, and what needs to change. I agree with almost every point they made, and have touched upon almost all of the same points at some point on this blog, but the essays are clear, concise and 100% accurate. I also enjoyed the candid assessments of Gary Matthews Jr., among others.

Great job again to Eric Simon (who has had over 1000 downloads of the annual already), as well as all the contributing writers. It was a great annual, and deserves all the praise that it has received nationally.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jose Reyes update

Tests have confirmed that he does indeed have an overactive thyroid, and that they are still trying to determine the best treatment.

Again, this should not have much of an impact on Jose Reyes' ability to be ready for Opening Day.

UPDATE: Jose Reyes spoke with ESPN Deportes, and said, "The specialists who took care of me in New York have told me that I'm fine and that there's nothing wrong with my thyroid. The test [taken to follow one conducted during his physical] showed that I'm fine. We just have to wait for the results of the additional test. The [doctors] found inflammation in my throat and no medicine to treat the thyroid or any other condition has been prescribed."

see the whole article here:

Why is this only an issue with the Mets?

Battle for the Last Roster Spot/ 25 man roster

In my post on January 24th, I previewed the Mets and their likely 25 man roster (which can be seen here: http://longlivesheastadium.blogspot.com/2010/01/mets-team-as-of-january-24th.html).

6 weeks later, here is an updated view.

C: Barajas and Blanco
1B: D Murphy (for now?)
2B: L Castillo
3B: D Wright
SS: J Reyes (yes he will be fine by opening day)
LF: J Bay
CF: A Pagan/C Beltran (mid-May)
RF: Jeff Francoeur

SP: J Santana
SP: M Pelfrey
SP: O Perez
SP: J Maine
SP: J Niese

Bullpen: F Rodriquez
R Igarashi
P Feliciano
S Green
B Parnell

That's 10 pitchers, so that leaves the following for 2/3 spots: F Nieve (out of options), N Figueroa (out of options), Kiko Calero (who just signed with the Mets), J Fogg (doubt it), H Takahashi (who was very impressive in his 1st outing), and J Meija (who Omar has said will start in AA, but that could change).

My predictions: F Nieve, K Calero (unless he needs time to build up his arm strength and starts the year on DL), and H Takahashi make the team. The Mets DFA Nelson Figueroa, he gets pissed, but then realizes no one else wants him, and goes back to Buffalo. This also is assuming K Escobar will start the year on the DL.

So if the Mets carry the 13 pitchers above, and the 9 position players listed above (A Pagan and Blanco, Beltran on the DL), the Mets will have 3 other position players on the bench.

A Cora is a given, and it's probably safe to assume F Tatis is a given as well. So that means the final spot on the roster will come down to: M Jacobs, G Matthews Jr., F Catalanotto and C Carter. Ike Davis and Fernando Martinez have a very slim chance.

I have a feeling the allure of M Jacobs power will secure him the last spot, but then again, G Matthews is hitting over .400 this spring after today's game (again, anything can happen with a small sample size).

If you want to check out the spring training stats for these players, go to http://www.doublegsports.com/2010/03/New-York-Mets-Position-Battles-Update-3910.aspx, it's laid out very nicely. It's only a week of stats, but still, gives you something to look at.

Who do you guys think will fill out the last 2-3 pitching spots and last position player spot?

Mets- Astros Game today

I'm watching the game today on SNY, and will just hit on a couple highlights

  • Johan threw a lot of pitches in the 1st inning, and allowed 4 straight hits, starting with a Kaz Matsui HR. He also labored in the 2nd inning, but competed and tried to fight through to finish the 2nd, but he couldn't do it. 1 2/3 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 1 k; left the game with 2 runners on, but Egbert stranded them to prevent any further damage.
    • He had a couple very good change-ups in the 1st inning, but then looked like he was fatigued and started leaving pitches up in the zone and they got hammered
    • SNY didn't have the radar gun on the telecast, but Ron Darling was saying he was hitting 90 mph.
  • David Wright hit a 3-2 fastball right down the middle from Brett Myers for a 2 run HR. He definitely "muscled" it, as there wasn't much/if any wind.

I didn't see much of the 2nd half of the game, so I missed the mammoth HR by Ike Davis to straight away centerfield. It carried a supposed 454 feet. I will post video once I see it.

As I've said before, I don't think Ike Davis will make the opening day roster, but if he continues to hit over .500 as he is this spring (I know it's a tiny sample size), the Mets won't have much of a choice.

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Some other random tidbits from Spring Training

    • Kelvin Escobar has been completely shut down from throwing and hasn't even tossed in the past week. Great news for our supposed 8th inning guy and a guy who has thrown in 1 major league game in the past 2 years.
    • Omar said today that J Mejia will start in Double A. Thank you Omar for doing the right thing!
    • Mike Pelfrey got roughed up in his spring debut, literally and figuratively, but at least his knee is fine after taking a comebacker off of it, and he isn't expected to miss any time.
    • O Perez threw yesterday and was focused on throwing strikes, which he did well. The results on those strikes weren't great, but in the spring those results aren't that important.
    And the highlight of yesterday's spring training game, Japanese import, LHP Hisanori Takahashi, struck out six hitters and allowed only one hit in a three-inning relief appearance. He threw 42 pitches, 34 strikes. Everyone kept talking about his great control, but that is very impressive. I didn't see the game, but here is a link to his 6 strike outs. http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100307&content_id=8706032&vkey=news_nym&fext=.jsp&c_id=nym

    He showed a 89 mph fastball with great location, a change up in the upper 70s, and a curve ball in the 60s. That is a big gap and may be very effective the 1st time through the league.

    I didn't expect him to make the team out of spring training, but if he continues to throw like that he will have to go north with the team.

    The Positives of Having 78 catchers in camp

    In a nice article for the New York Times, the Mets locker room is described as a classroom, with the 2 professors being Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco, with Chris Coste as a senior instructor.

    Although everyone has, and will continue to joke about Omar singing all these catchers, this is one positive that is under the radar/out of view from the fans.

    Here is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/08/sports/baseball/08catchers.html?ref=baseball

    Saturday, March 6, 2010

    Fernando Martinez

    Star of the game today, going 4-4 with 2 Home Runs.

    Between Ike Davis 2 days ago, J Mejia yesterday, and F-Mart today, the Mets farm system looks pretty solid. As long as they continue to progress and stay healthy...

    J Mejia

    The 20 year old was dominating yesterday according to all reports, striking out 4 in 2 1/3, and throwing 19 pitches, 17 for strikes. After watching the video below, some of those swings were over the ball by a good 6-12 inches. Scary good.

    Here is the video: http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7179293&topic_id=8048958&c_id=nym

    If he continues like this, the Mets are going to be very tempted to put him the bullpen this year, which I would avoid; it would limit his development into a potential #1 starter. IF the Mets are contending in August/September, and Mejia is still dominating, then I would call for Mejia to come in and pitch out of the bullpen during the stretch run, but not start the year out in New York.

    Hopefully he continues to build on this control, because that has been a problem in the Arizona Fall League, as well as earlier in camp.